Discuss the comparison of Warren Hastings and Cornwallis as reformers.


Civil Company of Bengal gained in 1765. After acquiring civil company in 1765, the company chose the path of dualism. As a result, the people of Bengal were exploited and tortured by the company. So Hastings emerged in 1772 to control the company. Lord Cornwallis appeared again in 1786 to solve the revenue problem. But the main objective of both was the same which was to ensure the revenue system of the company. But the two implement the plan from two perspectives. However, before knowing the plan of the two, it is necessary to know about the appointment of the Governor General of the two.

Governor Warren Hastings: At the age of 18, Warren Hastings came to India as a minor company employee. Later, due to his skills, competence and merit, he was first appointed as a resident of Kashim Bazar and later as a member of the Calcutta Council. Later in 1764 he returned to his homeland. Already in 1765 the company was civilized. When the bad governance of the company was revealed, the Court of Directors summoned Clive to his home country.

Later Verelest and Katya controlled the administration of the company for about five years. But they could not prove their qualifications. So he was appointed as the Governor of Bengal in 1772 to deal with the administrative problems of the Company and in 1773 he was promoted to the post of Governor General after passing the Regulating Act. After that he concentrated on the reforms with the responsibility of the Governor General.

Lord Cornwallis: During the rule of Warren Hastings in Bengal, when various laws or settlements were being made regarding the revenue problems, at one point, the Board of Directors requested the appearance of Cornwallis. So he appeared in 1786. Earlier he gave many historical views for the solution of the revenue problem of Bengal. During the reign of Warren Hastings, Philip Francis, later Charles Stuart, advocated permanent settlement. Section 39 of the Pitt India Act, which was passed in 1784 to solve the revenue problem, says about it. Thus when all opinion was in favor of a permanent settlement, the Assembly of Directors appointed Cornwallis as Governor (Bengal) in 1786. After his appointment as governor, he made vigorous efforts to implement the permanent settlement system to solve the revenue problem. But John Shore stood in the way of his efforts. So the ten-year settlement was implemented first. Later Dasalai became a permanent settlement on March 22, 1793.

Cornwallis and Governor General Warren Hastings Comparative Discussion: The following is a brief comparison of the reforms of Warren Hastings and Cornwallis:

1. Hastings' Reforms: After assuming power in 1772, Hastings focused on judicial reforms. He established one civil and one criminal court in each district on the recommendation of the Committee Circait. Below is a brief description of these:

A. Mofswal Civil Court: The burden of trial of all civil i.e. land related cases is entrusted to this court, apart from litigation related to inheritance of zamindar and talukdari. Collector presided over this court. The Sadar Civil Court had jurisdiction over cases related to the inheritance of zamindars and talukdari. This court consisted of the governor and two members of his council. Its court was located at Fort William in Calcutta.

b. Mofswal Criminal Court: This court was empowered to try all criminal cases. Only cases in which the accused were sentenced to death were sent to the Sadar Nizam Court for final disposal. Nawab was the president of this court. When the Sadar Niamat Court was shifted from Murshidabad to Calcutta in 1940, Governor Zeno Council took over the responsibility of running the court. Governor Generen appointed a Qazi or Mufti to advise someone about the country.

Second, Cornwallis established four mobile courts under the Sadar Niamat Court. Each of these was presided over by two English judges. Kai and muftis were appointed to explain the native laws to the judges.

Thirdly, in the past there was a practice of cruel punishment for crimes in some cases. Cornwallis took power and perpetuated these rigid endowment practices.

Fourthly, previously homicide was not considered a crime against the state or society. As a result, the case could be settled by intimidating the relatives of the killer. Cornwallis declared and punished the perpetrator of murder as anti-state or anti-social.

Fifthly, according to Muslim law no Muslim could be sentenced to death on the testimony of non-Muslims. Again, two Muslim witnesses were considered equal to one Muslim witness in the trial of some crime. Cornwallis removed these differences in the judiciary.

b. Civil justice reform. Earlier the revenue civil involved the trial of civil cases. As a result, the revenue system has to be changed. With the introduction of the Permanent Settlement in 1793, Cornwallis completely separated the civil justice system from the revenue system and arranged it in stages from lower to higher levels. That is why he made some necessary reforms.


i. At the lowest level of the civil justice system are Sadr Amin and Munsefi courts. These courts had the system of trial of ordinary class cases.

ii. A District Court is established in each district above the Sadar Amin and Munsef CourtsNo. The district courts were under an English judge.

iii. Four Provincial Courts are established above the District Courts. As a result, four provincial courts were established in Dhaka, Kolkata, Murshidabad and Patna.

iv. The Sadar Civil Court was the highest of all civil courts. The Governor General and Council administered the judicial functions of the Court.

v. Earlier District Collectors used to try civil cases. Cornwallis denied their judicial power and increased their administrative power. However, they used to conduct general judicial work. As a result, they are cornered in terms of revenue.

3. Hastings's Revenue Reforms: Hastings noticed the evils of dualism and reformed the revenue sector. Earlier, companies collected revenue through their controlled Naib Nazims instead of collecting revenue directly. There was doubt in the minds of both the government and the landlords. So Hastings in 1772 handed over revenue directly to the company to solve the revenue problem. Besides, Naib Nazim dismissed Rekha Khan and Setab Roy and abolished the post of Dewan. He also created the post of Collector again. These collectors used to go to the zamindars and settle on pasna basis. This arrangement was an experimental one. But it could not be implemented. As a result, Hastings changed the fiscal policy after a few days.

4. Lord Cornwallis' Fiscal Policy: The mainstay of Cornwallis' fiscal policy was the Perpetual Settlement. It was a permanent settlement in which the zamindars were granted perpetual ownership of the land in return for a fixed payment in perpetuity. It could not be changed. As a result, the landlord owns the land, guaranteeing the company's income. As a result, company budgeting is facilitated. In Bengal a new zamindar class emerged on the ruins of many old zamindar classes.

5. Hastings' Trade Reforms: In 1773, Hastings stopped the practice of adoption or clearance in accordance with the instructions of the Board of Revenue. This resulted in the abolition of the practice of illegal and wasteful trade by company employees and their agents. In addition, Hastings eased the movement of trade throughout the province by closing the zamindars' own outposts. The company had a monopoly on salt, betel nuts and tobacco. But 2.5% duty was levied on other goods. It was collected from local European merchants. Hastings used force to promote trade. Hastings sent trade missions to Bhutan and Tibet. Separated the department of commerce from the department of governance. As a result internal trade improves. read

6. Cornwallis's Commercial Reforms: Cornwallis' reform policies did not exclude any aspect of company governance. Cornwallis set about reforming the corruption and nepotism that had crept into the Company's trade management system as a result of Hastings's shortsightedness. Previously, the company entered into contracts with its employees to purchase goods exported from India to England. That is, the English employees were responsible for the supply of the necessary goods of the company. They bought goods through native merchants and brokers and sold them to the company at a profit. Cornwallis introduced the rule of contracting directly with native merchants for supplies. As a result of this arrangement, the financial loss of the company is reduced.

7. Hastings' Economic Reforms: Hastings's austerity and austerity policies to improve the company's financial condition were against much-vaunted policy. He reduced the allowance of the minor Nawab of Bengal from 32 lakhs to 16 lakhs. Under the pretext of Maratha shelter and friendship, Shah Alam's 26 lakh rupees per annum was stopped and the prison and Allahabad were taken away and given to the Nawab of Ayodhya in exchange of 50 lakh rupees. English soldiers joined the Rohilla war as mercenaries on behalf of the Nawab of Ayodhya on the condition of Rs 40 lakhs and bearing the expenses of the soldiers. The Nawab of Varanasi dethroned Chait Singh and placed his nephew on the throne in exchange for 40 lakh rupees annually. Although Hastings was criticized for all these actions, he was able to cover the company's revenue deficit and show a surplus in the fund.

8. Lord Cornwallis's Economic Reforms: Lord Cornwallis introduced a permanent settlement of revenue to strengthen the economic base. As a result, it is possible to keep accurate accounts of the financial aspects of the company. Besides, it is convenient to prepare the company's budget.

Conclusion: Therefore, it can be said that both Warren Hastings and Lord Cornwallis appeared in India mainly to solve the revenue problem and to sustain the company rule and to strengthen the British base. In this case, it can be seen that both of them were steadfast in their principles. So it can be seen that they proceed according to their own plan keeping the main objective. The difference is that Hastings could not succeed, Cornwallis could. But relatively Hastings strengthened the foundations laid by Cornwallis.

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